ThunderWolves unable to upset a pair of unbeaten teams

ThunderWolves unable to upset a pair of unbeaten teams

PUEBLO, Colo. (September 9, 2016) – In a hard fought five-set battle,  Colorado State University-Pueblo Volleyball came up just short against Texas A&M University Kingsville, dropping the match 25-23, 15-25, 22-25, 25-22, 14-16. The Pack could not upset No. 3 Wayne State College (Neb.) in the second half of the double-header as the Wildcats came away with a three set sweep (15-25, 14-25, 17-15) in the ThunderWolves Classic.

In the Pack's match against Texas A&M Kingsville, senior Mariangel Perez (Catia La Mar, Venezuela) recorded her first double-double of the season. Perez spiked down 18 kills and collected 13 digs. She had another six digs in the Pack's match with Wayne State.

Caitlin Broadwell (Jr., Lawrence, Kan.) powered the Pack's offense against the Javelinas with 19 kills. Broadwell hit .375 for the match. She tallied a team,-leading 10 kills against the Wildcats, giving her 29 for the day.

Junior Elena Michalski (Jr., Longmont, Colo.) passed out a team-best 25 assists in the first half of the Pack's double-header. Michalski narrowly missed a double-double with nine digs. She had five assists and six digs against the Wildcats.

Megan Schultz (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) continued to force errors defensively for the Pack. Schultz finished with six blocks against the Javelinas. She also led the team with a .500 hitting percentage en route to a five-kill afternoon.  In the night game, Schultz had four assists and four digs.

Making her CSU-Pueblo debut, Page Heller (Fr., Vancouver, Wash.) dished out 12 assists coming off the bench in match one of the double header. Heller also helped the Pack maintain several long service runs.

The Javelinas surged to an early 7-2 lead in the first match. CSU-Pueblo rallied and eventually took a 14-13 lead. They would not trail the rest of the set as they pulled away with a 25-23 set win.  Broadwell and Perez both had five kills in the first.

Set two belonged to the Javelinas. Texas A&M Kingsville outhit the Pack .440 to .120 in the second frame.

In game three, a 9-1 run gave the Pack a 16-6 advantage early. But the Javelinas rallied with the next seven points. A late six-point run moved the Javelinas into a 22-21 lead. After the Pack tied the game on a Perez kill, the Javelinas closed out the third set with three-consecutive points, rallying from as many as 10 points down to take a 2-1 lead. Though they lost the set, the ThunderWolves hit .357 in the third.

The two teams stayed within two points of each other until the final point of the fourth set. Holding a 24-22 lead, the Pack wrapped up the set with a kill from Broadwell. Morgan Wilkening (Sr., Fleming, Colo.) had an assist on the play that forced a fifth and deciding set.

To start the fifth set, the teams appeared evenly matched once more, finding themselves deadlocked at eight. Three consecutive points gave the Javelinas the lead. They would eventually hold a 14-11 edge. Facing match point, the Pack rallied with a three-point run of its own with Heller serving. With the game tied, the Javelinas rattled off two points to put the Pack away 16-14 and win the match 3-2.

Wayne State foiled the Pack's upset bid from the opening serve. The Wildcats held CSU-Pueblo to a .061 hitting percentage and forced 21 Pack errors, while hitting .318. The No.3 team in D-II, also served up seven aces, compared to zero for the Pack.

With their two losses Friday, the ThunderWolves find themselves 2-6 on the young season. Texas A&M Kingsville (7-0) and Wayne State (6-0) both remain undefeated. That will not be the case after Saturday when the Wildcats and Javelinas meet in Massari at 9 a.m.

CSU-Pueblo will conclude the ThunderWolves Classic Saturday at 3 p.m., when the Pack hosts rival Adams State University in Massari Arena. Four other games including a battle between Wayne State and Texas A&M Kingsville will be contested in Massari Saturday starting at 9 a.m. One ticket gets fans into all five games Saturday and costs just $5.

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.